Part 2 of my interview with David Heller, a Director of Technology and eSourcing at HP who will be participating in a User Community breakout session at Ariba LIVE in Orlando later this month (Part 1 is here).


Justin Fogarty (JF): Can you tell us about your use of the private Group for HP and your Ariba counterparts on Ariba Exchange? How has it changed your process?  And where would you ultimately like to see it go in the future?


David Heller (DH): We've just dipped our toe in the water, but there are all kinds of possibilities there. For example in the future, could we do more of our support issue tracking there?


At this point, we've been doing our QBR (quarterly business review) planning on Exchange. It's been helpful because we have multiple people who want to be involved and managing that process over email is difficult. It really is a great place to collaborate on ideas.


So, we're exploring where its going to work. The biggest challenge is that you have new technology and can't shut off old ones yet.


JF: In an ideal world, what questions would you like your peers - from across the company, industry and globe - to help answer? In other words, fill in the blank..."I wonder how others do ____"


DH: It's a good question because those issues come up all of the time. A few recent examples I can think of are:


  • How do you (other organizations) handle a situation in Ariba Contract Management where you have a supplier, usually government related, that says 'this contract cannot leave our borders' - no one can look at this outside of US. But we've set up a global business model that cannot ensure that no one outside the borders can view it because the document is now digital? How are other companies dealing with these conversations with their customers?
  • How do other ariba customers test service packs (cd customers)?
  • When we experience an issue with an Ariba solution, how do we know if other customers are seeing the same issue? Or if it's something on our end?
  • In the eform space, what are some good usages of them to handle business processes? That's a wide open question that would unlock a lot of potential uses.


JF: Aside from Ariba Exchange, what other social media platforms do you use to help with your work?


DH: Externally I use LinkedIn to get background on people I work with, Twitter to see what people are talking about related to our suppliers and partners. Internally I communicate with my team, stakeholders and all of HP through a Wordpress driven blog. I also heavily utilize an HP Labs product that combines Facebook and Twitter-like functionality behind the firewall.


JF: Care to share your favorite non-work website?


DH: I’ll give you three: Amazon, NYTimes and ESPN.


JF: Thanks David for taking some time for the interview and for participating in the upcoming session at Ariba LIVE.